The American Astronomical Society announces the selection of Dr. Harvey Moseley to receive the 2007 Joseph Weber Award for Astronomical Instrumentation. Moseley is an astrophysicist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The Award, named for the University of Maryland physicist who built the first detectors for gravitational waves, recognizes an individual scientist for the design, invention or significant improvement of instrumentation leading to advances in astronomy. The Weber Award has been presented annually since 2002; previous recipients include James E. Gunn and Frank J. Low.

The Award is conferred on Dr. Moseley “for his extraordinary contributions over two decades to the development of astronomical detectors covering a huge wavelength range—from X-rays to the submillimeter. These detectors have been used in some of the most successful of space missions from COBE to Spitzer that have profoundly changed our understanding of the universe. Dr. Moseley continues to focus his creative energies on future missions—most prominently to the development of Micro-Electro-Mechanical
Systems devices for use in James Webb Space Telescope spectrometers. This development holds the promise of revolutionizing IR instrumentation both on the ground and in space.”

“I am delighted to congratulate Harvey Moseley on this Award. His ideas and innovations have enhanced observational astrophysics over a wide variety of disciplines,” said Dr. J. Craig Wheeler, President of the AAS. Wheeler, the Samuel T. and Fern Yanagisawa Regents Professor of Astronomy at the University of Texas at Austin, added, “Moseley’s contributions have enabled exquisite new observations and measurements by many other scientists.”

Dr. Moseley worked extensively on COBE, the Cosmic Background Explorer, a spacecraft that made key measurements of the microwave background radiation. His accomplishments also include invention of the X-ray microcalorimeter, a sensitive detector used in X-ray astronomy. Instruments that he developed or contributed to have flown and are expected to fly on past and future infrared observatories mounted on jet aircraft —the Kuiper Airborne Observatory and SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy- and on spacecraft including NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and Japan’s Suzaku (ASTRO-E2) mission His instrumentation is also used at forefront ground-based observatories and telescopes including the Atacama Cosmology Telescope in Chile, the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory on Mauna Kea, in Hawaii, and for radio astronomy, the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, the world’s largest fully steerable single aperture antenna, in West Virginia. As mentioned in the Award citation above, he has also made significant contributions to the future James Webb Space Telescope.